University study shows E-Cigs are 99% less harmful than smoking tobacco
A study by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, shows that e-cigarette use poses no danger to users or to bystanders.
Professor Burstyn reviewed 9,000 observations (peer reviewed papers and ‘grey’ papers) of the chemicals found in e-cigarette use and found the levels of harmful chemicals to the user or the ‘passive vapour’ were ‘insignificant’.
As well as the obvious good news for our bodies this is also great news for the movement to allow e-cigarette use in pubs and clubs, as the primary objections raised have revolved around the harm to bystanders ‘passively vaping’. This theory has now been comprehensively debunked.
The study was funded by The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund, a not-for-profit, donation funded body who saw the need for an in-depth study into the effects of the dangers of vaping. CASAA President Elaine Keller picks up the story:
”Over the years, there have been a lot of small studies of e-cigarette liquid and vapor, but those studies were either ignored or misinterpreted. Those that showed even the slightest contamination were used for propaganda by those who object to e-cigarettes because they look like smoking. We realized that an expert review was needed to give an unbiased explanation of the available scientific evidence for our membership and policy makers. We reached out to our membership and they enthusiastically donated to make it possible.”
The paper suggested that even those undesirable contaminants found in e-cigarette vapour were of no health concern as they were found at levels CASAA described as ‘trivial’. Even Nicotine itself has been compared to caffeine in terms of the relatively low risk of ill effects on the body. In short you stand the same low risk of heart problems or strokes as drinking a nice cup of coffee.
For those of a scientific bent here is the link to the abstract of the CASAA paper
By pulling such large quantities of data together this study is a valuable tool into gauging the comparative safety of e-cigarette use versus regular cigarettes.
Finally CASSA Scientific Director Carl Phillips said ‘This is exactly the type of science that is needed to make good regulation and informed individual decisions’.
Smoking and the Law
UK smoking law refers to tobacco, lit tobacco and smoke. You may not smoke in any public place that is enclosed or partially enclosed. These laws do not apply to Vaping because there is no tobacco, nothing is lit and there is no smoke, just an inert water vapour or mist. The exact wording is:
“Smoking” refers to smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance; and smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.” The Health Act 2006. Chapter 28, Part 1, Para 2
You can easily prove that you are not smoking by Vaping near a Smoke Alarm, directing your exhaled vapour in its direction. The smoke alarm will not activate and sound the alarm because there is no smoke.
Some airlines even sell E-Cigs to passengers in aircraft.
You will need to buy juices to go in your E-Cig. They come in different flavours and different strengths.
I advise you not to choose a tobacco flavour at first because there is no way the taste of 4000 burning chemicals can be successfully recreated in a laboratory. When people try tobacco flavour, they expect it to taste exactly like a cigarette and it doesn’t, so they are disappointed and think Vaping doesn’t work for them.
I advise you to choose quite a strong flavour at first so that your brain gets the message that you are inhaling something. People who do not enjoy menthol cigarettes often find that adding a bit of menthol flavour to their juice is enjoyable and it makes the ‘throat hit’ register in the mind.
Most people like fruit flavours, but there are many more such as sweet and dessert flavours, coffees, real ales and drink flavours.
Smoking involves our hands, lips, throat and lungs as we light up and inhale. Aah! Traditional nicotine replacement often does not work because it only addresses a small part of the habit.
Remember that as babies our first experience of comfort and satisfied needs were met through the mouths as we drank our milk snuggled up safely in Mum’s arms. Cigarettes remind us of that earliest pleasure as they too give satisfaction through the mouth. One reason why most people don’t like going to the dentist very much is because we don’t like our mouths messed around with. Our mouths mean a lot to us on an emotional level. A nicotine patch fails most people because all it does is deliver nicotine, and doesn’t address other pleasures and habits that cigarettes provide.
Of people who have tried traditional methods of nicotine replacement, only 3% have managed to stay off cigarettes after six months.
Vapers use exactly the same standard of pharmaceutical grade Nicotine in a Glycerine or Propyl Glycol base with added flavouring. They hold the e-cig in their hands, bring the e-cig to the lips, inhale, feel a throat hit and get a satisfying lungful, then exhale something that looks like smoke. After six months, 74% of Vapers have stayed off traditional tobacco.
It is also approximately 75% cheaper than smoking.
What about all the money the NHS spends on treating smoking related illnesses?
Smoking related illnesses cost the NHS 2.65 BILLION a year! Doesn’t that sound a lot? I can’t even imagine what that amount would look like if it was stacked up in £20 notes. Many taxpayers moan and groan about it and say that their taxes shouldn’t be used to pay for treatment for conditions of the person’s own making.
Lets put that shocking amount of money into perspective. The UK Government rakes in ELEVEN BILLION in tobacco taxes every year! That is a clear profit of 8.35 billion a year, which is a pretty astounding return on investment. It doesn’t stop there though, because smokers die younger so they save on pensions and old age home fees. You could almost argue that smokers save the taxpayer a fortune! This is after smokers have paid their non-tobacco taxes as well.
Vaping e-cigs reduces the harm that smoking exposes us to. Its simple – if harm can’t be stopped entirely, substantially reducing it is the next best thing.
Every smoker knows there can be no doubt – smoking is bad for you and others around you. What if you can’t give up?
First you should seek advice from a Stop Smoking Helpline or your Doctor or Pharmacist. If that doesn’t work for you, switching to vaping substantially reduces harm. Lit tobacco has more than 4000 chemicals in it, many of them deadly poisonous.
Nicotine itself, although addictive, isn’t really much worse for you than caffeine. It’s a mild stimulant much like coffee, and people use it because of the rather nice nicotine ‘lift’, The bad thing about it is that it is addictive. Nicotine itself is a relatively harmless thing to be addicted to. The bad news is that if you light tobacco and smoke it, you get a lot of tar, and its the tar that will kill you and harm others around you.
If you play tennis with a tennis ball, there are risks of injury and harm. But if you play tennis with a hand grenade the risks are very substantially increased. Vaping is about choosing the greatly reduced harm of playing with a tennis ball rather than a hand grenade. Nobody claims it is entirely risk free, but it is a much safer way to get your nicotine hit, both for you and those around you.
Pharmaceutical grade nicotine is used in e-cig juices and is mixed with liquid used in food, like Glycerine, and flavouring. .Some juices also contain Propyl Glycol, which is used as a propellant in asthma inhalers and baby formula, among other things.
Regular cigarettes – or ‘analogues’ – contain about 500 chemicals, depending what agricultural pesticides, fertilisers and and other sprays the farmer uses. When tobacco is lit, there are chemical chain reactions, which bring the total up to more than 4000. That is a really scary thought!
Isn’t it the same as Smoking? Its still Nicotine, isn’t it? Why bother to switch? What is ‘Harm Reduction’ all about?
Smokers are called Smokers because they exhale Smoke. Vapers are called Vapers because what they exhale is a simple water vapour which looks like smoke.
In electronic cigarettes or e-cigs, nicotine is inhaled just like in cigarettes. The difference is that Vapers don’t inhale 4000 other chemicals that are in burning tobacco. Of those 4000, 69 are known to cause cancer.
Are all E-Cigs the same? No, they aren’t. There are several types, but all involve a battery heating a nicotine based juice which is inhaled and exhaled as water vapour. It is much the same as the steam you see over a hot cup of coffee. It looks like smoke but has no smell or dangerous chemicals that could harm other people, and it disappears in seconds.
The first type is a cig-a-like that looks like an ordinary cigarette and is sold in shops and garages. Some are more successful than others, but most people don’t find them very effective. The rest are mostly sold online.
The best one to start with is an eGo style battery with a clearomiser tank. They look like pens. And although they are cheap, they give a real Vaping experience so you can decide if Vaping is right for you without spending a lot of money. They don’t last long, so upgrade next time you buy.
There are Vaping groups on Facebook that give lots of good advice.